Eligibility for Programs and Services

The services and programs provided by IHS are available only to residents of Centre County. Eligibility is based on the total income of a household plus the number of people in the household. Financial eligibility is then calculated using the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines for the current year.

Financial Care Program

Often considered the hallmark of IHS, this program focuses directly on helping individuals and families achieve and maintain financial stability through two services: (1) Representative Payee Services for those receiving Social Security benefits, and (2) Money Management Counseling. These services are provided by case managers who work one-on-one with our clients to protect their social security benefits, manage monthly expenditures, and foster better spending habits.

The Representative Payee Service deals specifically with clients who are deemed medically-ineligible to administer their social security benefit. This service ensures that the client’s bills are managed and paid on time, and it protects their social security benefit from misappropriation by self-serving or fraudulent individuals. Often, the people in need of this service are among the most vulnerable members of our community.

The Money Management Service provides counseling for individuals who need assistance managing their income, creating a budget, reducing debt, or understanding bank statements. Clients in need of this service often are referred to IHS from other social social service agencies or county government offices.
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Free Furniture and Appliance Recycling Program

This program provides gently-used household furniture, beds, and large electrical appliances at no cost to eligible individuals and families in Centre County. Offsetting the cost of furnishings and large appliances such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers helps households stretch their income to cover other necessities. This program also provides a way for people to recycle many household furniture items and large electrical appliances that they no longer need. People wishing to donate items work directly with the Furniture Coordinator to schedule a time for door-side pickup. Donations are then stored in a warehouse and made available to clients as soon as possible. The Furniture Coordinator also works directly with those requesting furniture or appliances. When requests can be filled from inventory, the Furniture Coordinator schedules a time when clients can come to the warehouse to pick up their items.

IHS is happy to accept most donations, but the Furniture Coordinator reserves the right to forego items based on the condition, usability, safety, logistics in moving the item, or storage space in the warehouse.

The following items will not be accepted for donation:

—Sofa Beds
—Large Desks
—Large Entertainment Centers
—Large File Cabinets (5-drawer)
—Pianos or Organs
—Baby Cribs or Highchairs
—Gas Appliances (must be electric)
—Dishwashers that are not “portable” (must be moveable with a hose hook-up)
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Emergency Vehicle Repair Program

This Program focuses specifically on helping eligible residents who depend on their vehicles to get to their places of employment or to perform their jobs. Financial assistance provided through this program may be available to cover or offset the costs of vehicle repairs or part replacements. Individuals requesting assistance must provide an estimate of costs from a service station, repair shop, or retail parts business. Once approved, the assistance will be paid directly to the provider. The program also may be used by an applicant one time only for help with the cost of a driver’s license, vehicle registration, vehicle inspection, or insurance payment.
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Centre County Fuel Bank

This program, which operates from January 1–March 31, delivers free heating oil, wood, propane, coal, and wood, to eligible residents. The intent of this program is to help individuals and families avoid heating emergencies. The assistance provided by this program does not cover all heating costs nor is it used to pay overdue heating bills.
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“I have not had any kind of anxiety or stress over money. I don’t fight about money with anybody. I feel great.”


“I’ve never had extra money in my account. Now I don’t have to worry about bills. I would recommend this program to anyone.”


Give a Helping Hand

A contribution of time or funds gives your neighbors a hand up. Donate or volunteer today to help our community members in need.